Saturday, December 20, 2008

The sites and tools that I liked the most during 2008

Something that I really like about the web are not only the tons of info, but the great tools for different purposes and all of them with great results.

During 2008, the tools that I used and liked the most were:

1.- Animoto (http://www.animoto.com)
Great platform to create videos. If you need to create a great quality video at a low budget or without budget, then Animoto is a great solution. You can automatically create videos (in minutes) and the outcome is even better than some "professional" produced. I really like Animoto

2.- Get Satisfaction (http://www.getsatisfaction.com)
This is a free tool to implement a suggestion in-box to your site. It helps not only to manage the feedback for the site, but it does it also by page or category as well.

3.- ScreenToaster (http://www.screentoaster.com)
If you have a site and you have a FAQ section, then a video (walk through) would be the best answer illustration. Now you can do it for free with Screen Toaster. I like it a lot for my sites help sections

4.- SlideRocket (http://www.sliderocket.com)
I did not use slide rocket as often as I wanted to, but it doesn't mean it's not a great tool, because it is. PowerPoint can not deliver final presentations like the Apple Keynote ones, but with Slide Rocket, you will be able to upload your ppt and make it as nice as an Apple's Keynote presentation (or even better)

5.- Google Insights for Search (http://google.com/insights/search/)
I see it as the evolution of Google Trends. It is just great. Try it, you will see great insights from the search terms that you are interested into. From Google I also strongly used the Webmaster tools, Analytics, Maps, Documents. When I was at Yahoo! I tried to look for similar things from Y!, but Google is far away with this kind of tools. you must try a lot of these tools

6.- Scribd and Issuu (http://www.scribd.com and http://www.issuu.com)
These are not just sites in where we are able to search for different kind of documents (like SlideShare or DocStoc also) but the thing that I like about these two, is the capability to use their document browsers at your site, so you can provide now a better user experience in your own site and it will be powered by Issuu or SricBD. You do not need to invest in code or wait for the development.

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The other links that I will post are related to the sites (not tools) which I consider interesting to me. The design, experience, innovation, etc are the things that made me went there more than 10 times, just to see the site, read it or use it.

7.- Pandora (http://www.pandora.com)
I do not need to explain Pandora, for me... the best on line radio experience, with an awesome user experience in terms of the GUI and how do they post the ads inside the site, that is something that I admire also

8.- Razorlight (http://www.razorlight.co.uk/)
What???? yes this is a band web site, and... WOW!!!! what a great way to use video in a site. just go there and see what I mean. I hope they still have the full screen video experience... reduce the browser window (do not minimize it, only make it smaller) and you will see how the video goes smaller also, with out loosing the streaming delivery. The GUI, the music, etc... what a great site. I used to design a lot (more than 8 years ago). If you are a designer, then try it. The full experience is the music, image, video, font, etc... that is design, the hole package

9.- TechCrunch (http://www.techcrunch.com/)
My number one source for new things, news and for my own daily entertainment is TechCrunch. My proffered blog. I strongly recommend it

10.- Revision 3 (http://www.revision3.com) and other through Apple TV
Diggnation, Tekzilla and GreekBrief.TV (http://www.geekbrief.tv/) are my top video resources through my Apple TV, also the CNet content and much more. Try the video blogs through this video streaming boxes (like the apple tv) It is truly something better than TV

Thanks for 2008 and I hope we can have a better 2009. Let's not just hope it, but fight for it. It has to be a better year.

Regards
Jorge A. Herrera Rojas


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The marketing effectiveness analysis future

We have been looking for better ways to reach our customers and to deliver effective messages to them.

Behavioural Targeting gives us the opportunity to deliver messages to our audience, during its related to us decision process and through segmentation we can reach our potential consumers. These practices are evolving better day by day and their purpose is to give to marketing the ability to be more effective with the marketing investments. If we can deliver the right message to our potential consumers and/or if we reach them when they are planning to buy something from our category, then the marketing investment would be more product ivy, right? well, that is correct "in theory", but to have the information to analyze the segments and behaviours demands a lot of data and that process is not standardized (until today) between all the targeting and behavioural targeting vendors and consultants. There is now a new association looking for the standardization of the concepts and methods. Today some of them offers the same information, but they develop this knowledge based in different data and the outputs are different. Some of them are correct and some of them are not accurate, the risk in the future will be the lost of trust from the advertisers in these practices.

Thinking about what info could be the one that I as an advertiser would need or the one that would help me to analyze my segments, its behaviour and my marketing / channels effectiveness, I developed a simple ideal scenario, which I hope to see in the future (maybe by 2015)

It would be great to have a tag to follow all my customers cycles:

1.- The channel delivers a "tag" to its audience.
It will be great if the TV screen, newspaper, pc, radio or other channel could deliver a piece of data to its audience. Today almost all these channels can have a data delivery component and it can deliver it to other component in a wireless environment. The TV and laptop can deliver a piece of data to those consumers who are watching a TV ad or banner (any kind of internet ad). There is now also "ePaper" and we know that the future of paper is not in jeopardy, but it will evolve to dynamic paper, with electronic components, so it will be ready also to deliver data to its readers.

2.- The audience collect and host data from different channels
The channels are ready or almost ready to start delivering data to its audiences, but how the audience can receive it and host it? are we going to host a chip inside of our body? more or less... yes. Today the credit cards can host data and this data can interact with different channels. The chip in the cards would be able to host info from different channels and related to the ads and info that we saw. This info could be managed based on different business and gov rules, for privacy and also for data analysis, etc... the info could be also hosted in other different personal and portable receptors like music players, watches and mobile phones, so the data wont be only hosted in 01 (one) device, but in all our personal devices (to ensure be accurate)

3.- The transactions, buyers, ads, channels, demographics, etc are all together now.
When the consumer makes a purchase through any channel (life, telephone, internet or other) the ads info, frequency, channel and other could be delivered on regular bases and integrated with all the purchasing information at the point of purchase and with all of this info I can analyze what was the last ad, the frequency, my competence effectiveness, etc and obviously evolve from one consumer to all consumers and redefine, find or manage my current and future segments and their behaviours

If we can have all of this data, in an open environment, the advertisers will be more effective, but the most interesting thing for the consumers will be that this will increase the competence level between business and the winner always is the consumer. Better marketing, products, distribution etc its always the result of better competence. Today we keep hearing incredible sentences or superlative adjectives in almost all ads and we should be hearing only the true, so if we have an open environment the consumers can analyze also what is the best product for similar segments.

I am assuming that we will be able to deliver TV, radio and paper ads also based on targeting rules and behavioural strategies. The ads could be based on the watcher(s) id from phones, credit cards or other devices, if we can do this we will be able to deliver ads based on consumer(s) info, content and context. family wathcing a movie on starudary night, will be different to couple watching the same movie or a alone 40 year guy. so we will be able to deliver all the ads personalized

Well, maybe this is a dream, but that is why I will be looking forward to see in the future

This is a simple diagram to illustrate my idea



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do not copy these examples, make them your benchmark, your food for something new and good, but do not copy them

We have been talking about how to deliver a message or drive users to our message. Social Advertising, Traffic Management Marketing, Rich-Media, Behavioural Targeting, Mobile, etc... and what about the content of the message? the landing page? the site? the game? the beef of our message? many times great campaigns increase your expectation and the final destination is a total disappointment. Last MIXX finale, is a "Gala Award Night"where they award the best efforts in many categories: Brand Awareness, Product Lunch, Search Marketing Campaign, Mobile, Widget Marketing, etc... you can see all the winners at http://www.mixx-expo.com/2.8/awards_gallery_2008.aspx

What interested me the most was the ability of almost all of them to impress me. I consider my self some one who browse, surf, analyze, research and search a lot in the Internet world and I love to be in this kind of events, because its like a 2 hours (or 3) of creativity. Like a guided ride through the best places of the Internet, its like seen the future but you know is the past for them. Many times you want to be ahead but there are others who are really ahead.

I do not mean that I saw new technologies, but different and effective ways to support a commercial purpose through technology and really admire that and that is why I was so impressed. I respect the work of this guys and agencies. And I do not mean only that this are great graphical executions or awesome code, but all of that attached to a unique concept, which supports a commercial strategy.

I will talk about some examples:

1.- Layer Tennis.
what!!!!! yes... Adobe lunched a site http://layertennis.com/
Adobe looked for a different way to advertise and lunch the CS3 (now Adobe is in its #4 Creative Suite, so this was lunched at least one year ago). Layer Tennis is a great concept, where every Friday there are design matches. The participants have 15 minutes to create something and posting (that is a volley or the length of a turn), then they post the result and the other competitor have other 15 minutes to add, change, edit or evolve the piece of art. Both competitors have 5 turns and at the end a panel of judges selects a winner. The viewers in the mean time can comment about each posted piece. WOW!!! right? the site is an archive of all the produced pieces and you can see past matches. ...Well all should be produced using CS3 and its the best advertising. Great and incredible pieces of art, produced in 15 minutes. The best part (for the business readers) is that through this tactic / channel, Adobe achieved more than 60% of its annual CS3 sales, and they did not spent a penny in other media advertising channels (off line).

The result is amazing and showed us the benefit of the digital marketing, through viral and social tactics and an open platform for the designers community.

2.- American Express Open Forum
Amex is looking to be a partner for business owners, and that is why it brings the platform and the content base for this site / community. It is a great site with guides, training information and blogs about finance, marketing, innovation, leadership and management. Do you want to know how can you have a B2B relationship using the social media, networking and web 2.0 new tactics? well Amex did it great and their goal was NOT to use the tech trendy tools, but they saw an opportunity to develop a better relationship with their client community in where they can provide something that their client community can consumer, maximize, growth and value.
http://www.openforum.com/

These are only 2 examples of great strategies on the digital marketing arena. more than video, webinars, web 2.0, wikis, mobile, etc. these brands were taking risks and now they are receiving the benefits and showing to the rest of the industries how to take advantage of the on-line marketing

Is very frustrating to see how other brands copy the concepts. if could work for you, then do it, I do not agree but do it. Many times the brands copy with out an impact or benefit analysis, without trying to develop something tailor made for its own brand, some times brands just follow other brands and that is why I ask for the "Do not copy these examples, make them your benchmark, but do not copy them. I am sure that all can do something that fits their needs, that will helps the consumer, to the brand, to the media, etc... lets build and do not copy something as it is. You can take and apply best practices, that is different, but copycats are just wrong

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Android,The Google's mobile platform is ready and I do not why I am angry....

First of all I am happy to see that they accomplished what they promised, even though many analysts envisioned that Google would fail on the Android Project delivery for this year.

Here you have a fast demo of the phone and the platform:



Ok... why this makes me angry?

Apple launched Macintosh in 1984, Microsoft was part of the application developers and had access to the Macintosh platform and information months before its launch. Months after the first Mac launch, Microsoft lunched Windows.
Mac only for Apple Computers and Windows for any other personal computer.

why is this relevant? I will copy and paste the paragraph above and I will replace only the name of the brands and the year.

Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, Google was part of the application developers and had access to the iPhone platform and information months before its launch. Months after the first iPhone launch, Google lunched Android. The iPhone software is only for Apple telehphones (so far) and Android for any other phone.

We know how the story evolves. Windows developed a not very good system (until now) but they own the pc market. Microsoft was able to bundle MS Office and they are the market leaders of the productivity applications and finally they were able to take Netscape out of the business, because they bundled Internet Explorer and they forced to their partners to take out Netscape from the pre-sold pcs. Microsoft has a monopoly thanks to windows and they did it based on a stole idea / creation.

Are we going to experience the same with Google? Apple will never learn? Why Google complains about Microsoft if they are doing the same in other arenas like mobile, display advertising, browsers, productivity apps, etc...?

I am a Google user but a monopoly decelerate innovation and we are not ready yet to slow down. The Internet opened again the technology race, but the years before it were the worst in software innovation .

This is another Android video, this is from Google. you will see why I am so angry


By the way... and related to the new Microsoft ad



I am a forced pc at work but I am a Mac at home, an Apple TV, an iPod touch and an iPhone. And I also ware glasses

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A mobile up-date from Yahoo! at MiXX

One of the mobile presentations that I saw, was from Yahoo!. I like to go to their presentations not only because I consider them a great platform but also because I used to work there.

well... the presentation was about Mobile Marketing and how this is growing, there are not new numbers as far as I saw. Every day more people are using their phone for web browsing which is nice, but these still are 20% of them. I did not see effectiveness studies about it and there is some doubts (from my side) regarding the future of the mobile display platform. The screen is short and if we add ads this could be very intrusive for the users, I do not know if the CTRs are less, but maybe the engagement is bigger. I see also in the near future a very big fight between the big players (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Yahoo! Go) and other platforms, trying to win in this arena. The benefit for the users is that they will be competing to get us (better users experience, apps, content, etc). So based on that I do not see standards in the near future.

What I do saw was a new Yahoo! application. One Connect http://mobile.yahoo.com/oneconnect/iphone is ready for the iPhone. This Y! application lets you integrate your contacts from different social networks, track all their status and also update from one source all your social status. I already tested it and works fine. I remember that the idea of this app was to be lunched early this year and with other phones, not only the iPhone (that is the bad thing). any way... the application is nice because lets you manage your contacts for the phone in your current contacts base (social sites), integrates SMS (only in the US) and its future could be very good if they evolve fast adding friends localization maps, voice messages to my firends and posted on their walls / emails. The ads could be something between viral and collaboration marketing, more than display (from my point of view)

well I will give more info in the future

Monday, September 22, 2008

The afternoon at MIXX (Engagement Mapping and Behavioural Targeting)

Engagement Mapping

On February of this year Microsoft announced their proposal of the Engagement Mapping as a new standard to measure the impact of digital campaigns.
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-25EngagementMappingPR.mspx

And yesterday the talked to us about a compression that they did versus the last ad theory. They also published a communication about it at
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/sep08/09-22EngagementROIPR.mspx?rss_fdn=Press%20Releases

The engagement mapping really liked me. I do not see it as a standard to start using now, but we are soon to that measure methods. The advertisers look for this info, but the agencies and the publishers are not ready yet. It is not that difficult to start doing this, but you need some one helping you to set up the tag pixel (to track the ad effectiveness) and also some one to interpret it in the right way.

You can find more info at http://www.atlassolutions.com/institute_engagementmapping.aspx

The things that I like the most:

To measure our ad campaigns, we need to have conversion metrics, and Microsoft propose the following conversion attribution:

Conversion Attribution = Frequency / Recency / Ad Size / Rich Media (Day part, order, targeted, interactions

Other thing that I liked is that we can see the benefit or the integration of Atlas into Microsoft, after they bought them you can see the real benefit of this synergy. The Atlas knowledge and the Microsoft power. that is nice and we are still expecting something more impressive from Google and Double Click and Yahoo! with Right Media and BL (maybe this week we will hear more about APEX, which is one of the integrations of Right Media with Yahoo!)

BT

Later... I participated on a behavioural targeting session and I can not say to much about it. I can see that Behavioural Targeting, Mobile and Metrics are the top topics, but regarding BT, I can read from the speakers that this is on the future, "you can start now"but there is not enough data to move forward for the behaviour that you are targeting... so... if you are selling mid-prize cars BT is ready for you... but the benefits are not clear either...

WOW!!!! really... I think this will be big (not very, very big) and will be part of all the advertising, but right now is more an experiment for the brands than the thing to do. My conclusion is: if you have money and you can experiment do it now, help the industry to evolve about this, but if you are not ready for digital marketing yet, start but do not use BT as part of your strategy (only if you sell cars)

The first session: Inventing: Interactive Shapes a New CMO

The speaker is the Chrysler CMO,
"Beyond awareness" was the slide from her that engaged me the most.

I was hoping to hear something different but, any way... We saw a very nice campaign that they will lunch for a new truck. They will create 5 different reality show webisodes (video episodes) in where the participants will need to win a race on their new trucks. I liked the production that they are developing for this strategy. what we saw was very well produced.

After the nice videos we saw the site that they will be using to host the webisodes and the will have a Yahoo! site (like the Pontiac some months ago, maybe more than a year now). A site with the videos, but also a site with info about groups , photos and answers about the truck, reality show participants and also the webisodes.

The take away for me is that Chrysler is investing every day more on-line and they are not experimenting any more, they are risking, really moving forward. I like that. They understood that 80% of their consumers starts their research on-line and not in an car dealer shop. Like cars, there are a lot of product and services, where their audiences uses more the web than any other channel, but the brand managers do not risk as the car industry is doing. Every day we see more like this efforts and I repeat again, this are not experiments, this is the tactic that a company with sales problems is implementing to solve it.

The site will be RamChallenge.com

Another thing that she mentioned, that I liked was "web driven communications strategies" she understands that today we influence perceptions and the users are there looking for info in order to build their own point of view... this reminds me "traffic management" I really believe that the brands are loosing opportunity on this win-win tactic. Consumers create (NOT SEED) social media based on their experience. If the product is good, the content will be great and the brand can advertise this content as a sponsored link, the creator wins traffic, the brand have the best content available, which is "True" experience content, the researcher receives best results as at the results page, etc... isn't this a great ecosystem? I am really pushing for it

Mixx 2.8 and Advertising Week V

I'm on my way to Mixx http://www.mixx-expo.com/2.8/ I will try to blogg my ideas, conclusions and points of view of the different sessions in where I will be participating. Mixx is the official interactive partner of Advertising Week V, which also started today.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Looking for the next Google?

It looks like all the Internet community is desperate looking for the next big thing.

Obviously right now and during the past 5 years, Google has been the "coolest" site, business, place to work and its "American Dream" achievement helped to maintain the seed of hope inside the Web community.

Do not get me wrong, I am aware of the achievements also from other new business like YouTube (a Google company), MySpace, Facebook, Digg, Twitter, LinkedIN, etc... but any of these new business have the sales, growth, market cap, media buzz and visitors recurrence like the one about Google.

Better than expected were the results from a search query when I used Google for the first time, and that was the reason why they became the best and most used search engine, ...well. A week ago some of us where ready to find out the new best search engine. (that was my hope...)

I was ready to switch from Google to Cuil as I did from Yahoo! to Google some years ago. The past 24 months I really tried to swith again and I gave the opportunity to ask.com and live.com but the accuracy of the results at Google made me loyal to them.

Monday 28th (early in the morning) I went to cuil.com and I typed "symposier.com" At Google I receive 4 results and at Cuil I got "No results were found for: symposier.com" That was probably a bad test for Cuil, because is an experimental new site with no links from the outside, so... I gave a second chance and I typed "gzones1974" my nick name on the Internet... and url of this blog, well, at Google I received 222 results and this blog is one of the top 5 results. At Cuil I received 15 results and this blog is not listed there.
My third test was typing "Viagra" (I work for Pfizer and this is a common analysis for me) The results at Google 84,900,000 and at Cuil 998,787,254. Cuil gave me 10 times more links than Goolge (WOW!!!! finally I think I got it, Cuil is better and so much better...)
The Viagra search exercise is great, because is a drug, a well known brand reference of jokes, stories, a generator of social media and with different audiences like patients, physicians, media, entertainment readers, etc the results page is important because it is difficult to satisfy all the audiences.
At Google, the first result (organic) is viagra.com (the official site) but bellow that you can find options to refine your search ( Drug uses, Interactions, for patients, from medical authorities, side effects, warning / recalls and for health professionals). These options give you the opportunity to narrow your options to what you are looking for. The rest of the results are wkipedia, patient experiences, fda results, etc... At Cuil the results first page gives you the link to viagra.com 2 FDA pages and 7 links to unofficial pharmacies with illegal Viagra sales. So at Google I found results for all the audiences and the capability to redesign my search term. At Cuil I had more results but only 2 of the results are official, the others are illegal.

My conclusions are:
1.- Cuil is "interesting" because offers an alternative about how to present the results (in terms of usability), and these new proposal will push Google and Yahoo! to improve their results page
2.- Cuil did a great job in terms of PR. They had the attention of the media (more than 3,000 news articles in one week from around the world) because they did a tremendous affirmation, they claim to be the World's Biggest Search Engine (which I am sure they are) but size do not make you better
3.- In a search engine, size is not the only important thing. How do you define the relevance of the results is also as important as the volume of the indexed pages
4.- Cuil is probably bigger than Google and Yahoo! but Google and Yahoo! are so much better than Cuil. (try Yahoo! is also a great option now, they have been improving a lot)
5.- The users are looking for the best answer to their questions not to who has more answers.

6.- The media and Internet community are looking for the next "American Dream" story and the new David to hit Goliath

I wont use Cuil as often as I thought, but I will keep giving them a chance once in a while. why? because I want to try a new way of search, I want some day find a better way to find things and because I believe now some one is designing a best way to find things in the Internet and also in a different and better way than links related to the sites.

Thanks for visitng!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pay Per Session at Social Networking Sites

Last week, I had the opportunitty to went to the IAB Event "User Generated Content & Social Media" in NYC.

There, a panel inspired me an idea about how to advertise at the Social Networking Sites.

The idea is simple. To have the opportunity to pay per user session and not per million. The behavioral and profile filters could be the same, but the advertisers should have the opportunity to select a users session as the unit to advertise.

To do this we should have from the publisher the capability to identify the usual lenght of a session per user, per profile, per group, etc. Also the kind of session (entertainment, professional, informative, etc) At the buying process the advertiser could be able to select: The group age, gender, geography, preferences and after that, the kind of session where they should see their ads. For example: select males, from Brazil, who have rock as part of their preffered music and I select also the "Entertainment" session and less than 10 minutes. That will give me the potential sessions that I would be able to reach. Then the ads will appear only when the publisher identifies that the user is at an Entertainment session.

How does the publisher could identify the kind of session? by users behavior.
What would be different from behavioral targeting? the lenght time.
Why the lenght time is important? Acctually that is the key.

Today a banner is diplayed at any time and the CTR is low at these kind of sites. why? its oubyous for me. What would happen if Coca Cola, J&J or someone else deliver an ad to you when you just arrived to eat with your friends, or at the middle of a good chat or a great story? The chances to see the ad is low, and the chances to get involve with the ad... lower. And would happen if the brand participates since the biginning as a sponsor, but at the end is when delivers the marketing impact?. When you get up from the chair, on your way to the door... you see the ad of the brand that sponsored (brand presence) part of the services that you consume.

My proposal for the brands is to have a low presence during the user's session and deliver the banner at the end of it. The users will see less banners during the sessions and they will see the brand as a sponsor of the services (for example, they will see the "coca-cola" logo next to the Fun Wall, or at the notifications but when the systems identify that you are about to go out, finish or to change the kind of session in where you are participating... boom it shows you the banner. This could be a click per session performance model, where the cost will be higher but the effectiviness would be better.

This is only an idea... There are opporuntities here for the publishers, the ad networks, the advertisers and the banner serving software companies or services.

What do you think? your comments will be useful

Gzones1974

View Jorge Herrera's LinkedIn profileView Jorge Herrera's profile

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The on-line video momentum

Nowadays video advertising represents 10.2% of the total on-line advertising US annual spent. In the year 2012 will represent 18.5%. (eMarketer)

Youtube is the third most visited site on the Internet but it is not the only video platform on-line. Yahoo! Video, Y! News, Y! Music, MySpace TV, Adweek TV, Hulu, etc... You can find now almost every TV content on the Internet. The users are generating more content everyday and you can find also Internet exclusively video productions. There are millions of videos about different topics in almost every languages.

The video streaming technology is enough to deliver a reasonable video experience, and the excellent broad band penetration in almost all the world are the two most important factors to ensure the audience capability to see video on-demand through their PCs, phones or portable WiFi devices.

So... we got the content and the audience. The audience is engaged to this kind of format, but what are they watching?
eMarketer published on February 2008 some interesting data about this:
61% of the users watch videos related to news and current events; 57% comedy videos (jokes, bloopers, etc), 51% movie trailers, 49% music videos, 44% TV shows (previews of full shows), and 39% user generated content.

This is not incredible. The TV is the most popular media and now you can access through the Internet the same format, more content, on-demand and anywhere. The video on the Internet is here to growth and it's becoming a popular advertising platform too.

There are many ways about how to use video on-line. Marketers can create video content to facilitate the communications with their target audiences or they can also sponsor other producers content, like music videos, news, etc. This are not the only ways about how to use video on-line to advertise a brand.

Keshot (http://www.keshot.com/) is a great way to sponsor the users generation of content. I don't mean you can sponsor the user generated content, but the user's content production.
Through Keshot you can motivate a user to click a screen in an environment related to your brand, where you install a Keshot machine and they can create, tag, promote and publish their own content. The brand is not only sponsoring the process, but the user's video has also brand presence or related ads.


Today few brands are trying to motivate the users generation of content related to them, but another great way to be there and increase the number of participating consumers is to sponsor the production process.

What could happen if a pharmaceutical company install a kiosk like this in a Medicine School and the students can publish thesis, questions, answers or request another kind of help related to an specific topic like diabetes or cancer? The brand will be on the kiosk, the content pages, the e-mail to the user's friends and 5 seconds before the video.

Or what would be the impact for a hotel brand like Hilton or Hyatt, if they install this kind of machines at specific spots of their hotels. The guest can send free messages to their friends and family members, sponsored by the hotel. The hotel can display different offers and promotion ads, based on the viewer's location.

I am sure we can find now more options around video on-line than the ones we were thinking.
Thanks


write me at gzones1974@yahoo.com.mx
who am I? click here



Sunday, May 11, 2008

Do you know what your consumer is thinking about you... NOW?

Web 2.0 is more than Facebook or My Space. We already mentioned some ideas about how to use Social Networking sites for our marketing purposes. Today I will talk about some other Web 2.0 applications that are interesting for digital marketing:

One great characteristic about the web 2.0 is the ability to give feedback after reading every kind of publication. I don’t only mean that users can now write blogs, but now the users can rate or comment on official news. This is becoming a great way to hear our clients and consumers. Now there are some tools that let the marketers search what the users are posting.

Search Comments on News sites: Instant Bull is a great tool that helps you to find brand-related comments on financial sites like Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Investor Village, and others. You just search a company name and Instant Bull will bring results in a matrix. The searcher will then be able see posts from the searched brand were published in the last hours, days or last week. The searcher can also see all of these comments on the same page. So... if you are looking for information about how your investors or consumers reacted after reading a specific news article, Instant Bull will help you.

Look for the latest blogs about you (Blogs Search): Everyday we can find thousands of new blogs and millions of new posts in active blogs. Maybe there are hundreds or millions of these blogs related to our brands and we don't know what they are talking about. Well it is not new that there are great blog directories and search engines where you can find many recently-published blogs. Also in some of these tools, it is possible to search a blog based on its popularity. Google Blog Search, Technoarti, Digg (you can search for blogs and news) and BuzzTracker are a few great examples. It will be great if you could be aware of the latest and most popular blogs about your brand. Do you want to hear your consumer? Now you can read it.

What doubts do they have about my brand? (Answers); My last example is related to Q&A. Today the Q&A social applications are growing very fast. These apps are also known as Social Search platforms. Here the users are able to create or search questions, categorize them, and post them. Then the community will answer. These are great tools. If you can't find something on regular search engines, you can try these apps. Post your question and maybe you will receive the answer you were looking for. The interesting fact for the marketers is that they are able to monitor what the community is asking and answering, related to its products or services. That is amazing!!! it's a continuous focus group where you are not only hearing your consumers' answers, but also watching their most common questions. Some examples are: Yahoo! Answers, Minti, Say-so and the "Answers" category at Linked In.

There are other options: Social Bookmarking; Mashups, on-line opinions (like the ones at Amazon or ePinion.com) and many more that you should us to look for consumer insights.

I talked about how to use all this information in my "traffic marketing" post. I know that if we maximize search marketing plus the users' publications, we would be providing value to our clients and consumers!

These are some great examples about how you can track and monitor what your consumer is saying and sharing with the world. You are watching what they decide to express to the community just because they want to. You know the relevance and value of this information. It is amazing that the consumer publishes his ideas and thoughts without an economical reward or payment.

Thanks!
Please leave your comments. if you have questions, write me to gzones1974@yahoo.com.mx
For more info about me click here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Traffic Marketing?

Tenía mas de un mes de no escribir nada... y ya tenía ciertos reclamos al respecto, bien merecidos.

Esta vez quiero compartir una teoría la cual quiero poner en práctica y medir los resultados.

Todos sabemos que Internet es un medio a través del cual yo puedo llegar a mi audiencia, entregar un mensaje, al cual le hago publicidad para tener el alcance y cobertura esperados, correcto? también hemos hablado de que la mejor forma para llevar tráfico a un sitio (por volumen) podría ser Search Marketing, ya que estamos promocionando el acceso a nuestro mensaje, a aquellas personas que ya lo están buscando, correcto?

pero... para qué desarrollar un sitio que hable de mi producto, cuando existen miles o cientos de miles de blogs, noticias y artículos en línea que hablan de él? para qué producir contenido, cuando el consumidor lo está escribiendo por decisión propias y asegurando así tener un contenido auténtico, relevante, genuino.

Mi idea es desarrollar la práctica del Traffic Marketing, esto, estoy seguro que no es nuevo, ni tampoco va a revolucionar a la industria y mucho menos aplica para todos los contenidos o productos. Mi propuesta es para aquellos servicios o productos que necesitan promocionarse en la audiencia que está en evaluación o tomando la decisión de compra del producto y servicio. Para dar a conocer mi producto mi marca, entonces otras estrategias como behavioral targeting son las alternativas.

Es muy sencillo, mi propuesta es NO producir contenido, sino evaluar el contenido que existe en Internet, sobre blogs, podcasts, noticias, artículos, imágenes, etc... seleccionar de forma periódica aquellos que tienen un sentido objetivo y que describe correctamente o es congruente con lo que yo diría de mi producto y entonces hacer campañas de Search Marketing a ESE contenido, el cual no vive en mi servidor, ni fue producido por mi, ni tampoco fue adquirido por mi, pero describe mejor o igual que yo a mi producto o servicio.

Si estamos seguros que nuestro producto es el mejor para un nicho en específico o el mejor de su categoría, entonces... aprovechemos lo que los consumidores están diciendo, hagamos publicidad a esos contenidos...

En fin... esta es una idea en desarrollo, que estoy buscando aterrizar a detalle, no sólo en cuanto a riesgos, sino también en cuanto administración y métricas de éxito.
Gracias
Gzones1974

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Una oportunidad única… Integrar Mobile Advertising al plan de medios y a las estrategias de marketing HOY

Definitivamente la penetración de teléfonos celulares en nuestra región (Latinoamérica) es superior en volumen, a la penetración de usuarios de Internet a través de una PC.
El anterior no es un dato nuevo… y entonces porqué no se explota este medio? No sólo tiene un volumen considerable de usuarios, sino que es un medio digital (lo que permite dinamismo e interactividad) y además es un medio “personal” en la mayoría de los casos, el teléfono celular es una herramienta de uso individual, lo que maximiza la oportunidad de crear experiencias específicas a las necesidades de cada usuarios / cliente / consumidor…

En fin… el medio parece ser maravilloso, pero… para qué utiliza la gente este medio además de hablar por teléfono de forma habitual?

El envío de mensajes de texto (SMS) es muy común, pero que hay del uso de datos a través del teléfono. Quién hace búsquedas a través del celular? Quién lee noticias, correo electrónico, acciones bursátiles? Cuántos usuarios de Facebook, MySpace, Flickr y otros utilizan el servicio de datos para actualizar su estatus o subir fotografías / video?

En mi personal punto de vista el bajo uso de servicios de información se debe a 3 razones:

1.- El usuario no sabe que existen estos servicios.
Quién está haciendo una campaña de información, motivación y entrenamiento (en pocas palabras una campaña de administración del cambio) al respecto? Yahoo! Tiene Yahoo! Go ( está es una herramienta muy útil con los siguientes servicios integrados: mail, weather, search, flickr, news, entertainment, MTV, MySpace y otros widgets) Messenger y One Search son otros dos productos móviles de Yahoo!; Google tiene maps, search, youtube, picasa, reader y docs. Además existen cientos de empresas que han desarrollado aplicaciones WAP y que pueden ser utilizadas por Internet.

2.- Los usuarios no tienen la infraestructura necesaria para utilizar estos servicios.
Aún y cuando el volumen de usuarios es alto, de igual forma es alto el número de usuarios que no cuentan con un plan de datos o los datos tienen un precio elevado, por lo que nadie los usa (prácticamente solo usuarios de Smart Phones o BlackBerry) A esto hay que sumarle el número de usuarios que cuentan con teléfonos con capacidades multimedia y acceso a Internet, este número no es tan alto y es (a mi manera de ver) el mas fácil de resolver, ya que los usuarios han adquirido el hábito de cambiar su teléfono por lo menos cada 2 años. Por último las redes de los principales proveedores de telefonía celular en Latinoamérica (America Móvil y Movistar) son lentas en la transmisión de datos

3.- La experiencia del usuario no es la óptima
Este es el problema mas grave. Utilizar un buscador WAP en un teléfono celular es más lento y complicado a utilizar un buscador en una PC. La visibilidad, velocidad y usabilidad son pobres en WAP comparadas a una PC, pero… me puedo llevar mi PC a todos lados conmigo, tenerla al alcance de la bolsa de mi pantalón? Aún y cuando WAP es lento, tener acceso a información de Internet en un celular puede ser conveniente… Además, compañías como Google y Yahoo! Están desarrollando alternativas de acceso a sus servicios de información, que mejoran en mucho la experiencia del usuario (Mobile Google – suite de aplicaciones- y Yahoo! Go)

Ok, entonces… con estas barreras cuál es la oportunidad?
Está clarísima. Ahora las marcas tienen la oportunidad de impulsar este medio. Me gustaría preguntarle a Barnes & Noble si le hubiera gustado lanzar antes que Amazon o preguntarle a Tower Records si le hubiera gustado desarrollar una tienda de música digital antes que itunes de Apple. Claro, también hay muchos ejemplos de fracasos, pero no estoy sugiriendo aventurarse a experimentar haciendo grandes inversiones, sin tomar en cuenta lo aprendido en el pasado, estoy exponiendo la oportunidad de regresar en el tiempo a 1994 y desarrollar estrategias con el conocimiento adquirido a 2008… Estamos en una situación muy similar a las de los 90’s y el Internet, pero ahora con la telefonía móvil (la cual no va a sustituir a la PC, sino que extenderá el tiempo de acceso a información a los usuarios, ya que ya no estarán limitados a un lugar y momento) Realmente es como poder ir al pasado con la información del futuro.


Este momento ya lo están aplicando en US. Pero quién en Latinoamérica lo va hacer???? En Estados Unidos el mejor movimiento hacia la tecnología móvil lo ha hecho Apple, quién después de casi 30 años en el negocio de las computadoras personales, desarrolló un teléfono celular, que permite una mejor experiencia al usuario. Apple definitivamente entiende muy bien ese tema y maximizó su ventaja, conocimiento y momento (iPOD). Solo como dato, en Nueva York, en Diciembre, el acceso a Internet a través de iPhones fue tan alto como el acceso desde hogares… el iPhone es un iPod con teléfono o el iPhone es un teléfono con una capacidad de computo tan alta que permite a los usuarios hacer sus actividades móviles como si tuvieran una pc (se ve muy feo “pc” pero me refiero a computadora personal, el término genérico y no específicamente a máquinas con Windows..) en la mano????

Mi consejo no es crear un teléfono, accesosrios o aplicaciones… mi consejo es que las marcas desarrollen experiencias móviles para sus usuraos, enseñándoles a usar las nuevas tecnologías, negociando con los carriers servicios de datos para sus clientes, aprovechando las tecnologías de Google y Yahoo! que ofrecen una mejor usabilidad y así asegurar que el usuario complete sus expectativas.

Esta vez no voy a dar una idea de Farma (aunque ahora estoy tentando a dar todas asociadas a Cardiología y medicamentos relacionados, ya que es lo que traigo en la cabeza todo el tiempo desde el primer viernes de Enero de este año). Pero qué tan útil sería para Coca Cola promover que la gente instalará gratuitamente el Yahoo! Go, que incluya un widget específico de Coca Cola en donde el usuario pueda buscar fotos de usuarios con intereses específicos en alguna zona y que hayan subido las fotos en los últimos 10, 15 o 30 minutos. Un usuario joven podría estar en una cafetería o restaurante y ver las fotos que comparten o compartieron otros clientes de esa misma cafetería en ese mismo momento. Coca Cola estaría motivando que a partir de redes sociales electrónicas se crearán nuevas redes sociales físicas asociadas a algún lugar y momento… Además de que tiene branding en cualquier centro de consumo (bares y/o restaurantes) ya que los usuarios tienen teléfonos celulares con la imagen de Coca Cola al subir y ver fotos… y es la marca quien les ofrece el servicio, les consiguió un precio especial de datos para uso exclusivo con su servicio y les enseñó a utilizarlo

Este blog estuvo largo, pero este tema es muy rico y además me gusta mucho…

Ligas
Yahoo! Mobile
Google Mobile
Buscador de aplicaciones WAP



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Una red social y de negocios para tu marca (Tu propio Facebook)

Qué tal le funcionaría a mi "target" el patrocinarle y crear una red social basada sobre el interés específico que lo hace ser mi cliente o sobre algún tema que nos relacione a los 2?

El 21 de Octubre de 2007 hablé un poco sobre "Cómo aprovechar las redes sociales" y hoy me gustaría darle continuidad a ese tema y compartirles algunas ideas.

Es una oportunidad para las marcas, el poder crear grupos en los principales sitios sociales. Hoy podemos crear grupos y páginas especiales dentro de Facebook (fan pages o Facebook pages), pero es eso lo único que podemos hacer?

Hoy en día existen servicios bien desarrollados que permiten la creación de redes sociales públicas o privadas, en las que los participantes pueden llegar a través de invitación o se pueden inscribir directamente en el sitio. Mis recomendaciones para la creación de redes sociales son: Collective X y Ning. En estos sitios uno puede crear su propio Facebook o Hi5 en minutos y podemos adecuarlos, para que nuestra red tenga el aspecto e identidad de nuestra marca, así como también para que la funcionalidad esté relacionada con los intereses de nuestra audiencia.

Y para que nos gustaría crear nuestra propia red social?
Supongamos que una empresa farmacéutica lanzará un producto nuevo de una área terapéutica relacionada con Cardiólogos. Podemos crear una red social sobre el padecimiento específico, pero no solo con información del padecimiento, sino información externa sobre las últimas noticias de este tema, que los usuarios puedan comentar y compartir sobre estas noticias, dar su propio punto de vista o consultar mas información, que los médicos puedan aprovechar esta red social como una plataforma de colaboración en donde pueden preguntar abiertamente a todo el grupo de miembros (médicos también cardiólogos) y estos mismos sean los que contestan, creando además una base de conocimiento. En donde los médicos también puedan compartir investigaciones o materiales y sea esta red una plataforma de publicación de sus artículos asociados al padecimiento.
La marca no solo desarrolla la plataforma, sino que también podría aportar contenido único y valioso a su comunidad, contenido de difícil acceso para un médico y que la empresa farmacéutica puede conseguir mucho mas fácil. El beneficio para la marca es único, tiene una plataforma de comunicación con su comunidad de clientes, la marca agrega valor directo a la comunidad de clientes al ser la habilitadora de esta plataforma y al aportar contenido valioso para los médicos. Qué diferencia hay con un sitio (web site) de la marca (el cual no debe ser sustituido por esta red social) que esta plataforma social tiene "miembros" y no lectores solamente y que los miembros utilizan está plataforma para consulta, colaboración y publicación de contenido, lo cual no pueden hacer en el sitio de una marca (principalmente por cuestiones regulatorias).
La fuerza de ventas puede invitar directamente a los médicos; se puede hacer una campaña de behavioral y search marketing en Internet para llegar aquellos médicos que ya están utilizando Internet para profundizar en el padecimiento que será la base de la red social; y por último también deberíamos de crear un grupo en las diferentes redes sociales, en donde hagamos resúmenes de la actividad de nuestra red social privada y lleguemos entonces a nuevos lectores o nuestros lectores actuales nos vean también (si así lo prefieren) en su plataforma social preferida.

Les comparto una buena presentación sobre la evolución del Marketing y la relevancia del Social Marketing.



Gracias, sus comentarios son bienvenidos
Saludos,
Gzones 1974

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Herramientas Útiles

En esta época del año se inician la mayoría de los proyectos que se seleccionaron o identificaron en la planeación anual o se están dando los últimos detalles a esa lista y estamos por empezar, pues bien, es por esta razón que esta vez quiero ofrecerles ligas de sitios que podrán ser útiles en sus procesos de investigación, no solamente para marketing on-line, sino para muchas otras prácticas.

Slide Share es una rica base de datos de presentaciones de power point, en donde se pueden hacer búsquedas por palabras clave o se puede revisar el contenido de diferentes categorías. El material en la mayoría de los tópicos es de buena calidad. Por hacer una referencia, este sitio es como un YouTube, pero de presentaciones electrónicas y con un enfoque adicional para temas profesionales o educativos. ScriBD y DocStoc son sitios semejantes a Slide Share, pero con documentos de word y pdf

Compete y Alexa son sitios muy útiles para analizar el tráfico en Internet, ya sea de algún sitio en específico o revisar el tráfico por categoría o país, estos dos sitios dan parte de su información de forma gratuita. ComScore es la fuente oficial para algunos de los sitios mas grandes, como Yahoo! y Google, aunque estos también utilizan Nielsen Net Raitings, los métodos de medición de cada uno es diferente y mis recomendaciones les pueden dar un muy buen estatus o tendencia de tráfico en algunos sitios. Para revisar tendencias de búsquedas en Google, se puede utilizar Google Trends.

Y por último recomiendo Netvibes, que me parece una muy buena herramienta para integrar feeds de RSS o buscar integraciones que hayan hecho otros usuarios. Anexo un ejemplo en donde integro muchas fuentes sobre Marketing Digital, lo que verán es la integración de noticias, blogs y otras fuentes de información sobre Marketing Digital. Para ver el ejemplo hacer click en el el Logo de NetVibes
Add to Netvibes

Espero que estas herramientas puedan ser de utilidad para ustedes, si conocen alguna otra herramienta, por favor inclúyanla como comentario o liga en este mismo blog.

Gracias
Gzones1974